If you’ve never heard of coconut oil, you may be living under a rock. But that’s ok. I didn’t know about coconut oil until nine months ago or so. Just know that it’s really, REALLY good for you and you’ll be fine (if you need more than that, read the details and 24 reasons why you should eat coconut oil here).
When Tropical Traditions asked if they could send me a quart of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to try, there was no way I could refuse. Not only was it free (a small perk to being a blogger) but I LOVE coconut oil! I didn’t even have to write a review, but I am because it really is a great product from a great company.
Tropical Traditions started in 1998 as a husband/wife operation. Brian and Marianita Shilhavy went against the norm of big machines and shoddy methods at the time and began making coconut oil by hand, the way their parent’s generation had years before, because they knew it was a healthy oil.
Fast forward nearly 13 years later and their high standards remain. They stand firm against GMO’s and look beyond labels, actually digging in and researching where and how products are produced.
I like that they put as much thought into their products as I do in my family’s health.
You can see the difference in their product too.
It smells more like coconut.
It has a richer color, like coconut.
It was smoother than other brands.
It even tasted better!
This is the coconut oil I used when making the latest Crumbs kitchen experiment: healthier chocolate brownie cake. Part cake, part brownie, nothing but goodness.
Yes, I know chocolate cake isn’t supposed to be healthy. But believe me, I did not “ruin” the joy of dessert by making healthier substitutions. If anything, this version is better! Now you won’t feel as bad eating a piece (or three). 🙂
- 1¾ cups white wheat flour (may use whole wheat flour, sifted and then measured)
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs (or 3 medium)
- ¾ cup full-fat sour cream
- ½ tbsp instant decaffeinated coffee granules (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer, or seperate large bowl , beat the coconut oil and sugar for a full ten minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat for three minutes.
- Add half the flour mixture and beat gently. Add the sour cream and beat gently. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat gently until everything is well incorporated. Turn the speed up a notch and beat for ten seconds.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 35 minutes. A knife or toothpick inserted into the middle will come out slightly fudgey. Let cake cool for 5 minutes before cutting.
- Top with your favorite butter cream icing (and you can even substitute coconut oil instead of butter!)
Tropical Traditions prides itself for being America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is the final product of their original venture – hand-crafted, made in small batches, by family producers. It is still the highest quality coconut oil they offer. Read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website or watch the video below.
Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their site to see their recommendations on using coconut oil, various places to buy (besides their own site) and to see their current specials – buy one get one free and free shipping are both offered frequently, PLUS they offer organic coconut flour for gluten-free folks, grass-fed beef and grass-fed butter too!!